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Janitor On Duty

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March 18th, 2007

2:54 PM

Book Matters

I've just decided not to buy a book that is favorably reviewed because of the ending which isn't even close to being a happily-ever-after kind. It occurs to me that I'm a big coward that way - I can accept many things in a novel, from graphic violence to alien voodoo sex, but I run away screaming from a book the moment someone tells me that it doesn't have a happy ending. I'm also that person who walks away unhappy from the theater if a movie doesn't have a happy ending. (Of course, there are romance novels where a terrible ending involving the violent death of a main character would have made me happy but that's a different thing altogether.)

I've come across brave new authors who want to write romance yet with a "radical" idea of putting in non-HEA endings in their stories, as if love stories since civilization started never had a non-HEA before. A HEA is a limitation on their vision or creativity, I think, or something like that. To these authors, the next time they email me sneering at the supposed Pollyanna "escapist" attitudes of the genre, I'd say, yes, more power to them, go write that love story where everybody dies or get separated at the end. Is there room in the genre for non-HEA romances? Sure, why not, it's only fair if there are books in the mystery genre where the crime gets unsolved. Just don't expect me to buy that book with a non-HEA ending because that's not what I'm looking for. You can write, no one's stopping you, but I won't buy. It's that simple! 

Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Alison Kent

In other news, I found this book going on sale at my usual bookstore at a price that I can't resist:

I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but if I have time, I may write something short based on the advice of this book just for kicks and send it to an epublisher just to see how well this book works. If I have time, that is. You think I should do it?

Dream Jobs to Go! How to Get Free Books (and Maybe Even Get Paid!) as a Book Reviewer by Deborah Bouziden

I can't believe someone actually tries to sell a book to tell people how to be a book reviewer. This book costs $12.95, mind you. Next thing I know, someone will be telling me  that I need to get some sort of degree to slap together a website and start yammering my head off about a book. I wonder what kind of information is inside this book. How to write cover letters that will impress Laurie Gold from All About Romance to take you on as a reviewer? How to use marketing catchphrases to sell books on authors' behalf? The mind boggles.

I think I'll start charging people for my advice as well.

9 comment(s).

Posted by Sarah McCarty:

I don't mind a book with a sad ending as long as it's not romance. In a romance, I want my HEA. Period. :)
March 18th, 2007 @ 10:13 PM

Posted by Tilly:

I don't require the grand wedding HEA ending...in fact, I'd rather use my imagination to finish things off. But, in a romance, I want them to be together!

If you write it...we will read it :-)
March 19th, 2007 @ 12:29 AM

Posted by Emily Veinglory:

Genre romance without HEA? Never. You can do love stories without HEA but don't shelve them with genre romance. That is just a grab for sales that doesn't respect the 'love conquers all' essence of the genre.
March 19th, 2007 @ 2:59 AM

Posted by Maria Duncan:

I bought the Alison Kent book a week ago and I have to say it rocks!
March 19th, 2007 @ 5:57 AM

Posted by Bronwen Cleathero:

Ah come now some of the best romances were not HEA. Want me to name one? Gone With The Wind of course and many many others from that era. The heroine would be sitting with a single tear down her cheek. Not what I like but it was hugely popular for the longest while.
March 19th, 2007 @ 11:41 AM

Posted by Emily Veinglory:

Gone With the Wind, Bridges of Madison County etc are great books about romance and love but *not* genre romance. People need to understand the word is used different ways but as a genre and shelving convention it has a HEA. Anything else is akin to having a suspense with no suspense or a historical set entirely in the future. GwtW is a saga, BoMC is shelved as literary. Romeo & Juliet is a great book story but you don't shelve it next to Susan Squires.
March 20th, 2007 @ 1:01 AM

Posted by Elena:

Try Jean Johnson's new book 'The Sword' (First of 'The Sons of Destiny')
March 20th, 2007 @ 6:31 AM

Posted by Mrs G:

Personally, I'd call GoTW chick-lit/mainstream women's fiction rather than romance since it emphasizes more on Scarlett then the romance itself. If it's published today, I believe the reaction to it would be similar to that given to Paullina Simons' books - readers would like it, call it romantic, but would not mistake the book as Romance. Romance as a genre and romance as a concept aren't the same after all.

But label or no label, I'd just prefer HEAs in any genre I read. It's a matter of personal preference.
March 20th, 2007 @ 8:48 AM

Posted by Darragha:


I'll tell them to expect you.
March 20th, 2007 @ 11:32 AM